The new year is well underway ... and many of us have probably taken the opportunity to take stock of where we are and where we are likely headed over the year that lies ahead of us. The year ahead will be full of surprises, both good and bad; and full of new interactions with other people - and probably more than anything else, it is just these interactions that will ultimately determine, how the year pans out for each of us. How we connect with others will ultimately determine how happy we will be over the course of the year ahead; how we connect with each other in training, at home with our families and in those great moments spent with the best of friends. Life, though sometimes bumpy, is always full of possibility at every corner.
Most people go through hard times of some sort or another, but I think that most of them also lack perspective. The world is full of people who wonder about where their next meal is coming from, or worse, they wonder about where their children’s next meal will come from. If you are reading this blog, you are probably living a relatively affluent lifestyle when compared to the greater population of the world. Things are rarely as bad as they seem, even in times of struggle.
Life is much more about relationships that it is about money. The things that truly count in life are the feelings we have and the times we spend with other people. Money certainly opens up our options, but in my experience it certainly doesn’t buy happiness.
Money is just a means to an end. I have never been driven by money, or the need for it. I have always been driven by other forces; forces like passion, wanting to see what’s over the next hill, challenge, love, friendship, purpose, etc. I have always understood that we get money for doing things that we are good at doing but have never been obsessed with the need to become a millionaire or anything like that. And yet I have pretty much always considered myself to be a very happy person.
The fact is that I personally know quite a few millionaires who say they would love to be able to do the things I now do just in the course of my everyday life. An interesting question to ask is ‘what stops them from doing just that?’ The answer, as sad as it may sound, is that once people have a million dollars in disposable assets, they feel a need to acquire two million; once they have two million, they need four, and so on. Greed can certainly work as a motivational tool to get you moving, but to let it control your existence is in some ways as crippling as poverty. Human beings were not created to make money; we are here to experience, to live life in a state of excellence; these and the other truly important things have nothing to do with the number at the bottom of our bank statements.
I have a great week of training ahead of me and the third book in my Rogue Black Belt series to get off to the print-house - at the end of which I am leaving for four days of hiking into a very remote part of the Tasmanian wilderness to celebrate with a bit of fly-fishing with a good buddy of mine - awesome times ahead.
I hope you all have as much fun as I plan to have over the remainder of this, the first month of 2010!